French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called for a jobs summit as the country's unemployment figures reach a 12-year high, officials say.
The country's labor ministry reported this week that unemployment in France hit 2.85 million in November, a 12-year high and the seventh consecutive monthly increase, the EUobserver reported Thursday.
Discussions at the summit, to begin Jan. 18, will primarily be focused on a proposal of part-time work and reducing hours and salaries instead of losing jobs. Unions will have to agree with the proposal before implementation.
Employment Minister Xavier Bertrand said solutions reached at the summit would have to be applied "rapidly" to contain "the effects of the crisis to the maximum."
Over the past three years, some 100,000 jobs have been terminated in France's industrial sector.
Les Echos, a French financial daily, reported almost 900 factories have closed since 2008, with 200 of those closures in 2011.
Unemployment is a top-priority issue French voters, a poll in the La Croix newspaper indicated. More than half of respondents -- 52 percent -- said they want candidates for the April presidential election to focus on policies that "maintain employment."